This race is named in memory of Thom Bugliosi, who died in 1991 at age 32 when he was the top trail runner in the area. Thom loved running trails, and although he never ran this course, we’re sure he’d like it.
The race takes place within Hammond Hill State Forest and consists of a 13K loop that is run twice for the 26K and three times (plus a baby loop) for the 42K trail marathon. The course uses both the Finger Lakes Trail and the extensive DEC trail system. The route will be marked with colored ribbons, and intersections will be indicated with orange arrows. These trails are rugged and challenging, but you’ll enjoy the flora—oaks, beeches, maples, and evergreens—carefully groomed mud, and, due to the lack of leaves this time of year, some nice views of the surrounding valleys. There will be two unmanned aid stations along the course, plus another at start/finish area for those running the 26K or 42K. All runners will be treated to an array of tasty post-race snacks.
Our home base for the race is Camp Earth Connection—a natural campground and retreat center with cabins, rustic cabins, lean-tos, and tent sites available to rent for the entire race weekend or for just race day evening. Visit campearthconnection.com for campsite availability. Please note that Camp Earth Connection is an alcohol and drug free facility. This applies to both the event and any campers.
The Thom B Trail Runs are part of the FLRC Trail Circuit, and results are included in the annual Pebblehead/Stonehead/Boulderhead rankings.
The races start and finish near Camp Earth Connection, a quarter mile down Hammond Hill Road from the public parking lot, whose address is roughly 100 Hammond Hill Road, Freeville, NY 13068. Do not follow GPS directions via Harford Road—this road is not passable. Instead, make sure to come via Irish Settlement Road.
Directions from Ithaca: Take Route 13 north toward Dryden. Before entering Dryden, take a right onto Irish Settlement Road. After going through an S curve you will go up a big hill, then continue a couple more miles. Take a left onto Hammond Hill Road. Soon you will come to a Y intersection. Take the right fork. At the top of the hill is a parking lot on the right. Park here. The start/finish area is a quarter-mile further on down the road.
- The 42K race starts at 7 AM. The 13K and 26K races start together at 10 AM.
- Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your race to pick up your bib number.
- Registration will open in late February.
- Online pre-registration is strongly encouraged and is open until 6 PM the night before the race.
- The race is limited to 150 participants. No day-of-race registration available!
- 13K and 26K: $15; 42K: $35
- FLRC members may deduct $5.
- Runners 18 and under may pre-register for free.
On race day, all turns will be well marked. However, with so many interconnected trails, Hammond Hill is an easy place to get lost, especially during solo training runs on the course. In this description, all mileage is approximate and may not correspond exactly with your GPS watch or map. Stay alert for sharp turns, and be sure to carry enough food and water. The color/number trails are all part of the state’s DEC trail system.
Start on Hammond Hill Road, about a quarter-mile south of the parking lot. Head uphill on the dirt road for half a mile. As the hill levels out, watch for trail Blue 1 on your left. Make the hard left onto Blue 1 and follow this to mile 1.0, then merge right onto Yellow 5. Continue straight-ish on Yellow 5 to a T intersection, then turn left to stay on Yellow 5.
At mile 2.5 you’ll come to a dirt road. Turn right for a slight downhill, then a quick left onto Red 1. At mile 3.5, you’ll merge with Red 2 for a very sharp left—almost a U-turn. Follow Red 2 back uphill. Around mile 3.7, Red 2 merges with the white-blazed Finger Lakes Trail. Stay on this trail—you’ll see both white blazes and Red 2 DEC markers—and pick up the pace as you cruise downhill into the bed of pines.
Continue on the white-blazed FLT, even as Red 2 merges onto Yellow 4 near mile 4.6. As you reach mile 5.0, turn right to follow the FLT downhill, leaving Yellow 4 but remaining on the FLT. (Watch for the white arrow painted on a tree where the trails split. This turn is easy to miss.) Stay on the FLT until you reach Star Stanton Road—the wide dirt road at the top of the hill.
Turn left onto Star Stanton, but then watch for the Yellow 3 trailhead on your right. (If you follow the road for more that a few hundred feet it means you’ve gone too far and missed the trail!) Cross through the little ditch and charge uphill on Yellow 3. Merge right onto Yellow 1 at mile 6.1.
Yellow 1 is the trail that will bring you on home! Follow Yellow 1 straight across the dirt road at mile 6.7 and proceed down the hill. This is one of the fastest sections of the course, and is nearly the end of the loop! Around mile 7.5 you’ll take a right to stay on Yellow 1. At 7.8, take a 90-degree left turn onto a wide, unmarked trail, leaving Yellow 1. This little connector trail drops you back onto Hammond Hill Road where you started. If this is your last loop, blast straight across the road and down to the finish line at Camp Earth Connections. You’re awesome! If you’re ready for more fun, hit up the aid station, then run back uphill on the dirt road and repeat.
For trail marathon runners, there is a “baby loop” once you have completed three laps of the course. Continue the same way from the start as before, up Hammond Hill Rd., left onto Blue 1, then merge *left* onto Yellow 6 at the intersection–not right onto Yellow 5 as before — continuing 100 yards until a left at Yellow 1 and down to the finish. Markings will be a separate color from the main course, with a warning sign.
- Look for ribbons and flags marking the trail or you’ll end up off course! As with all trail runs, it’s on you to pay attention.
- Mud, treacherous footing, fallen logs, vicious mother ruffed grouse, and vehicles at road crossings are possible hazards.
- Carry a water bottle, as it could be hot. Bring warm layers, as it could be cold. Bug spray is usually welcome.
- The Central New York Wilderness Search & Rescue crew will be on hand to help. Let’s try to ensure they’re bored.
- 26K cut-off: Runners will not be allowed to continue on the second loop of the 26K after 2 hours.
- 42K cut-off: Runners must complete each loop of the 42K within 2 hours.
- Composting toilets are available at the start/finish; showers are available only for Camp Earth Connection campers.
- All human refuse and remains on the trail must be buried. Because… blech!
- Tasty post-race food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
- Results will be made available shortly after the race via Webscorer; visit the FLRC Web site for full results later.
- This race is part of the Finger Lakes Trail Circuit, for all you Pebbleheads, Stoneheads, and Boulderheads.
- For remaining questions, contact race directors Gary McCheyne (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joel Cisne (607-592-8230 or email@example.com)
- No dogs, headphones, or jogging strollers are allowed. These make the race dangerous for everyone.
- Alcohol is expressly forbidden by Camp Earth Connection. Please don’t bring any.
- The race directors reserve the right to reject any entry for any reason.
- Entry fees are non-refundable, even if the race is canceled because of an act of nature or mankind.
- This race is organized by the Finger Lakes Runners Club and insured by the Road Runners Club of America.